Say what you will about the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set, but one undeniable fact is that one thing that has not changed is the enduring appeal of John Williams' classic scores for the 1977-83 trio of films that pitted Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Obi-Wan Kenobi against the forces of the evil Empire and the Jedi-turned-Sith Lord, Darth Vader.
To mark the release of the 2004 DVD set, Sony Classical has revamped and reissued the 1997 Special Edition soundtracks and created a beautiful box set that complements the packaging of the Widescreen Edition DVDs. In an elegant silver and black slipcover, the three slimline 2-CD jewel cases include holographic cover art that matches that on the DVD cases, a collectible poster/track list, and the scores on newly remastered Digital Stream Discs (which have improved sound quality and clarity, especially on top-of-the-line stereos) , as well as exclusive screensavers accessible through Sony Classical's Star Wars web page.
As expected, John Williams' music for A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi is brilliantly performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. With 74 tracks and over six hours of music, this six-CD set is arguably the most complete collection of original soundtrack material yet released.
If you own the 1997 RCA Victor Special Edition soundtracks, however, there is no new unreleased material here. Indeed, track sequences and titles are identical, and there are no detailed program notes.
Still, the box set is reasonably priced; it's actually cheaper than buying each soundtrack album separately, so if your older CDs are getting worn out or you just want these CDs for their extra features, then it's certainly worth considering.